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OU Unheard to receive award for equality efforts

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OU Unheard

Students of all colors tape their mouths shut and link arms as they walk down the South Oval Jan. 14, 2015. Unheard will be honored with Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Awards in recognition of their efforts in promoting diversity in Oklahoma.

OU Unheard will receive an award Thursday evening to honor its fights against inequality at the university.

The black student alliance was chosen as one of six recipients of the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Awards. The awards are meant to recognize individuals and groups who have worked extensively to promote diversity and inclusion.

OU Unheard is tremendously proud that its work is being appreciated and encouraged, pre-med junior and OU Unheard member Chelsea Davis said.

The group made national headlines during the Sigma Alpha Epsilon scandal in March, when a video of the former fraternity's members singing a racist chant emerged on the Internet. Two students in SAE were expelled, and the fraternity was kicked off of campus as a result. 

The award ceremony will be hosted by Oklahoma’s Diversity Committee and Oklahoma Bar Association President David Poarch. The scheduled keynote speaker is a member of the OU administration — Jabar Shumate, the vice president for the university community.

Shumate was appointed to the administration in July. His role at the university is to create a more inclusive atmosphere and broaden campus diversity, which is the subject he will speak on at the ceremony. He was not immediately available for contact.

Qualifications for the Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher Diversity Award include: developing an effective equal opportunity program, promote diversity, creating opportunities to better the community and assuming leadership in confrontational and unjust situations.

Other recipients of this year's awards are judge Jerome Holmes, attorney Demario Solomon Simmons, Riggs Abney, Valery Giebel, PrayWalker, The Education and Employment Ministry and VOICE.

This article was corrected on Dec. 13 at 6:00 p.m. to reflect the correct spelling of Jabar Shumate's name. 

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